Colombia: Duarte

During the armed conflict in Colombia, which has lasted over four decades, extrajudicial executions have been carried out by the security forces in a widespread and systematic manner. They are part of the terror tactics used by the security forces as part of their counter-insurgency strategy. The Attorney General's Office is investigating more than 2,000 cases of extrajudicial executions reportedly committed by the security forces. Repeatedly, those campaigning for justice in cases of extrajudicial executions have been subject to death threats or have been killed by members of the security forces or paramilitaries working with security forces.

Reports indicate that William Cristancho Duarte, who is working on cases involving the extrajudicial executions, has received death threats including an assassination attempt. In December 2010, Mr. Duarte had shots fired at his car. One bullet shattered the rear window and bullets were also found in the car door and the seat where Duarte was sitting. The Law Society is concerned about situations where lawyers who work to defend the rights of others are themselves targeted for exercising their freedoms and rights under the law.

Letter of Intervention